P R E S S R E L E A S E
The crisis at St Peter’s Hospital is ‘just a foretaste of what might happen if the Conservatives get re-elected at the General Election’ said Labour’s Arran Neathey as NHS problems hit the Chertsey Hospital.
On Monday this week the majority of outpatient appointments were cancelled at Ashford and St Peter's as the hospitals ‘struggled to cope with emergency patients’. People were asked ‘not to attend A&E unless there was a real emergency’.
‘This is not acceptable’, said Mr Neathey, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate. ‘People pay their taxes and their National Health contributions get taken from their pay so they can expect to have a properly funded health service there for them, should they need it.’
Ashford and St Peter's Hospital said it had cancelled a number of planned operations and would do the same later in the week.
A spokesperson for the hospital trust told the BBC website, ‘We have declared a major incident but it is on a different level to a train crash or a plane crash, it just allows us a bit more freedom to manage the situation. We have cancelled some non-urgent operations to free up beds. We are full, like many other hospitals up and down the country.’
Arran Neathey commented, ‘At the last General Election, David Cameron made a point of telling people, the NHS was safe in Conservative hands. Now with these unprecedented announcements from our local hospital, that claim has been completely disproved.’
A well know local activist, Arran Neathey has been campaigning on NHS funding for several years. It was a key theme in his local election literature when he was a candidate last May, “I have been warning people that something like this would happen, it is not the fault of the staff - they are doing a fantastic job given the circumstances.”
Mr Neathey referred to research conducted by the Labour Party which showed that in the UK 1 in 4 patients wait a week or more for a GP appointment (or can’t get one at all). This results in more people going to A&E and, in turn, puts further pressure on already stretched services.
‘Last year in the UK approximately 1,000,000 people waited longer than 4 hours to be admitted to A&E, this is nearly 3 times as many as in Labour’s last year in office. The Tory under investment in the NHS has meant that hospitals like St Peter’s simply don’t have enough staff to cope with winter demand. It was inevitable that a winter crisis like today would happen under the Tory management of our NHS. And if we don’t kick them out in May this will be just the start.’ Said Arran Neathey.
He added ‘The next Labour government will save our NHS and build a world class 21st century health service around people’s needs. We will raise £2.5 billion to pay for an NHS ‘time to care fund’. This will pay for 20,000 extra nurses and 8000 new GP’s –I will make sure that St Peter’s gets its fair share.’
Labour has pledged to fund this additional investment by introducing a mansion tax on homes worth over £2 million and a levy on tobacco companies.
For further information contact Arran Neathey on 07874 745007